Adidas said that traffic in the stores continued to improve in the third quarter but remained “significantly below prior year levels”. The company posted “exceptional growth” in the e-commerce channel (+51% currency neutral), accompanied by a strong increase in full-price sales. Adidas’ overall direct-to-consumer business grew 13% in currency-neutral terms and accounted for 35% of total sales in the quarter. The wholesale business is said to have “improved sharply” but remained below the prior year level. Group third quarter revenues decreased 3% in currency-neutral terms, with sales for the Adidas brand down 2%, and Reebok revenues down 7%. In euro terms, revenues decreased 7% to €5.964 billion (2019: €6.410 billion).

“We saw a strong recovery in our business in the third quarter. Our focus on healthy inventories, profitable sell-through and disciplined sell-in clearly paid off; inventories declined by more than half a billion euros and our full-price share in e-com increased at a double-digit rate. At the same time, we kept costs under control and delivered a profit improvement of more than €1.1 billion compared with the second quarter”, said Kasper Rorsted, CEO, Adidas. The company’s gross margin decreased 2.1% to 50%, as a result of the company’s strict cost control measures, other operating expenses decreased 11% to €2.223 billion (2019: €2.486 billion) and, as a percentage of sales, were down 1.5% to 37.3%. Net income from continuing operations totalled €578 million, down from €644 million in the same quarter of 2019.

For the first nine months of the year, Adidas’ revenues decreased 18% on a currency-neutral basis and 20% in euro terms to €14.297 billion (2019: €17.802 billion). Currency-neutral revenues for the Adidas brand decreased 18%, and 20% for Reebok. Net income from continuing operations totalled €291 million in the period, a sharp fall from the €1.737 billion recorded in the same period of 2019.